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-President Trump was swept into office
in part because of his supposed blue collar appeal.
For example, he promised that America's truckers
would prosper under his administration.
So how are they doing after three years under Trump?
This is "The Check In." [ Cheers and applause ]
[ Bell dings ]
Trucking is a huge American industry,
worth over $700 billion
and employing over 7 million Americans,
which is why Trump pandered so hard during an event
with trucking industry executives
at the White House a few years ago
when he donned an "I love trucks" button
and then played inside of one.
[ Crowd applauds ]
[ Laughter ]
[ Honking ]
-Tell me how to get out of here.
[ Laughter ]
-Nothing says "I'm a real blue-collar guy"
like "How do you get me down from a truck?"
[ Laughter ]
This looks like a geriatric remake
of "Smokey and the Bandit."
"Wait for me, Bandit. Snowman's gotta pee again.
10-4." [ Laughter ]
When Trump later addressed trucking CEOs and executives
at the White House, even he had to admit that he was full of it.
-Through day and night and all kinds of weather,
truckers course the arteries of our nation's highways.
You carry anything and everything,
the food that stocks our shelves,
the fuel that runs our cars,
and the steel that builds our cities.
You think I wrote that? It's not bad.
[ Laughter ]
Save that. I want to save that paragraph.
-No one thinks you wrote that. [ Laughter ]
You read that like a kid reciting a poem in class.
"Two roads diverged in yellow wood."
[ Laughter ]
No one even thinks you wrote this.
[ Laughter ]
Also, what did you mean when you said,
"I want to save that paragraph"?
When will you ever have any reason to use it again?
[ Laughter ]
"Happy Valentine's Day, Melania.
You carry anything and everything.
The food that stocks my shelves."
Now, as Trump waxed poetic about truck drivers
and promised to put American truckers first,
drivers said he hasn't delivered.
In fact, the Trump Administration has actually
made things worse for many truckers by enacting
policies that hurt them financially.
Take Trump's tax law, which he tried to sell
as a huge tax break specifically for truck drivers.
And when he touted the plan in front of hundreds of truckers
and industry executives,
it was the classic Trump one-two punch --
transparent pandering followed by incoherent thoughts.
-I want to tell you, to the truckers in this room,
which is a lot of people,
you're going to make more money,
you're going to do better than ever before,
more jobs, higher pay, and lower taxes.
This huge tax cut.
[ Scattered booing ]
Two words. Huge and now rocket.
Can you believe it? I have 'em in the same --
You know what we're talking about, folks.
Don't worry about it.
It will rocket fuel,
and it will be rocket fuel for our economy.
-Now that I believe you wrote.
[ Laughter and applause ]
"It will be huge."
[ Cheering ]
"And then rocket fuel,
and it will be...
rocket fuel."
[ Laughter ]
So there you have it.
Trump said truckers would pay less and make more money
than ever thanks to his tax plan.
So how did that go?
-Do you feel like this administration
is listening to you as truckers? -No, ma'am.
-No, they're not listening, not at all.
-They say some of their issues affect all Americans,
like the Republican-led tax bill.
How many of you, by a show of hands,
saw your taxes increase this year?
-They all went up, yeah.
-One, two. -Yeah, this year they went up.
-One, two -- all of you?
So most of you saw your taxes increase?
The reason? Something called a per diem.
In the past, truckers could deduct things like food
and daily expenses from their taxable income.
Now, with Trump's new tax bill, they no longer can.
-I have a young family at home and with our per diem,
they took the per diem out.
That made an $8,000 difference.
-$8,000? -What I personally paid.
-So what were you paying in taxes last year?
-Nothing. -Amazing.
So while the tax plan lowered rates
for trucking industry executives
who make millions of dollars a year,
it only made things worse for those
actually doing the driving.
In fact, because of Trump's tax law,
accountants have had to tell truck drivers that after years
of being able to count on receiving tax refunds,
that they in fact would owe thousands of dollars.
As one small fleet owner put it, they got screwed.
It's so bad, a lot of them can't even afford clothing
for the women on their mud flaps.
[ Laughter ]
And in this case, a lot of the people getting screwed
voted for Trump, and they aren't just worse off
because of his tax law.
Truckers are also hurting because of Trump's trade wars
and tariffs, which, again, is a direct contradiction
to what he had promised.
-America first means putting American truckers first.
When companies stay in America and move to America,
it's our wonderful workers who reap the rewards,
including our great truckers who will have
more products to deliver and more contracts to fill.
That's the way it happens.
-Well, it turns out that's not the way it happens.
In fact, the exact opposite is what ended up happening.
-Industry data shows the rates trucking companies charge
are down nearly as much as 17%.
The reason? In part, the President's trade war.
With fewer goods like steel and electronics coming into
U.S. ports, fewer trucks are needed to move them.
-These tariffs are having real-life consequences
on states that rely on, for instance, trucking.
These states, many of them voted for President Trump.
Some of America's biggest trucking companies
are blaming the U.S./China trade war along with new tariffs
for hurting their bottom line.
-That's right. Because of Trump's trade war,
trucks have less to haul.
But Trump would probably say, "If you think about it,
that means they can drive smaller trucks
and then it'll be easier to get down from them."
[ Laughter ]
"Because they're very high in the air."
So Trump's tax law and his trade wars have had
a negative impact on truckers.
In fact, one of the few policies Trump enacted
that trucking industry lobbyists actually pushed for
is one that arguably puts everyone else on the road
in danger.
-The transportation department is moving to relax
federal regulations on the number of hours
that truckers can be behind the wheel.
-Highway safety advocates say the contemplated changes
would weaken the regulations leading to driver fatigue,
making roads more dangerous.
-They say truckers will put in even longer days at a time
when they say driver fatigue is a serious problem.
-For someone who loves trucks so much, Trump doesn't seem
to care much about the condition of the person behind the wheel.
Maybe he doesn't even realize there are drivers.
"I just assume the trucks go all day
and then at night they turn back into giant robots
and go to sleep." [ Laughter ]
So thanks to Trump's policies, truckers are forced to work
more for less pay in potentially harmful conditions.
And his ongoing trade wars could put thousands of truck drivers
out of work entirely.
So the best we can hope for is that truckers
return the favor in 2020.
This has been "The Check In."
♪♪ [ Cheers and applause ]
[ Bell dings ]
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The Check In: Trump and Trucking

13 Folder Collection
林宜悉 published on September 17, 2019
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